- This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use around the eyes due to increased risk of absorption.
- This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use around mouth due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
- This ingredient’s score is higher if used in products intended for use on lips due to increased risk of ingestion and absorption.
- Products with the EWG VERIFIED mark have met use restrictions and warnings based on EWG review of company data.
IMAGE SOURCE: PubChem
Other ConcernsUse restrictions (moderate), Non-reproductive organ system toxicity (moderate), Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) (high), and Occupational hazards (high)
SYNONYMSDISODIUM DISULPHITE, DISODIUM SALT DISULFUROUS ACID, DISODIUM SALT PYROSULFUROUS ACID, DISULFUROUS ACID, DISODIUM SALT, PYROSULFUROUS ACID, DISODIUM SALT, SODIUM METABISULFITE, and SODIUM PYROSULFITE
Restricted: EWG VERIFIED products cannot contain this ingredient without adequate substantiation
Sodium metabisulfite is an inorganic salt used as a preservative.
See how this product scores for common concerns.
LOWAllergies & Immunotoxicity
LOWDevelopmental and Reproductive Toxicity
- DATA SOURCES
Products with this Ingredient
|sunless tanning||59 products|
|facial moisturizer/treatment||38 products|
|serums & essences||32 products|
|hair color and bleaching||12 products|
|facial cleanser||11 products|
|hair treatment/serum||9 products|
|around-eye cream||8 products|
|daily use with SPF||8 products|
|skin fading/lightener||7 products|
|bar soap||6 products|
|body wash/cleanser||5 products|
|brow liner||4 products|
|makeup remover||3 products|
|setting powder/spray||3 products|
|recreational sunscreen||3 products|
|hair styling aide||2 products|
|makeup primer||2 products|
|other eye makeup||2 products|
|body firming lotion||2 products|
|foot moisturizer||1 products|
|body spray||1 products|
|hair spray||1 products|
|tanning oil||1 products|
Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
|Classified as irritant||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Allowed workplace exposures restricted to low doses||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Restricted in cosmetics (recommendations or requirements) - use, concentration, or manufacturing restrictions - any||CosIng|
Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
|Limited evidence of eye toxicity||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Classified as medium human health priority||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Classified as toxic or harmful||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|One or more human case studies show possible immune and respiratory or allergenic effects||Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics|
|Limited evidence of immune system toxicity or allergies||National Library of Medicine HazMap|
|Occupational hazards related to handling||CPS&Q - Classification & Labelling|
|Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps - Maximum reported "as used" concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) - implicit safe concentration limit in product||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
|468 studies in PubMed science library may include information on the toxicity of this chemical||NLM PubMed|
Multiple, additive exposure sources
|Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food||FDA Food Additive Status|
|Designated as safe for general or specific, limited use in food||FDA Everything Added to Food|
|Industry or government recommendations for safe use: restrictions on concentration, impurities, product types, or manufacturing methods - any||Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments|
Persistence and bioaccumulation
|Not suspected to be bioaccumulative||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
|Not suspected to be an environmental toxin||Environment Canada Domestic Substance List|
- CPS&Q (Consumer Products Safety & Quality) formely known as ECB (European Chemicals Bureau). 2008. Classification and Labelling: Chemicals: Annex VI of Directive 67/548/EEC through the 31st ATP.
- European Commission. 2013. Cosing, the European Commission database with information on cosmetic substances and ingredients. Accessed on March 1, 2013 at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/cosmetics/cosing/ .
- EC (Environment Canada). 2008. Domestic Substances List Categorization. Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA) Environmental Registry.
- AOEC (Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics). 2009. AEOC exposures codes and asthmagen designation.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2006. HazMap — Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents.
- CIR (Cosmetic Ingredient Review). 2006. CIR Compendium, containing abstracts, discussions, and conclusions of CIR cosmetic ingredient safety assessments. Washington DC.
- NLM (National Library of Medicine). 2012. PubMed online scientific bibliography data. http://www.pubmed.gov.
- FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) 2006. Food Additive Status List. Downloaded from http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/%7Edms/opa-appa.html, Oct 16, 2006.
- FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration). 2008. EAFUS [Everything Added to Food]: A Food Additive Database. FDA Office of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. The Skin Deep® scoring system was designed to help the public understand whether a product is safe to use or whether it contains ingredients of concern.
Every product and ingredient in Skin Deep gets a two-part score – one for hazard and one for data availability. The safest products score well by both measures, with a low hazard rating and a fair or better data availability rating.HOW WE DETERMINE SCORES
The Skin Deep ingredient hazard score, from 1 to 10, reflects known and suspected hazards linked to the ingredients. The EWG VERIFIED™ mark means a product meets EWG’s strictest criteria for transparency and health.
The Skin Deep data availability rating reflects the number of scientific studies about the product or ingredient in the published scientific literature.